Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yıldız uses African tour to talk up ties between the continent and Ankara
Turkey aims to open embassies in all African countries, a senior foreign ministry official said on Wednesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ahmet Yıldız, speaking in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, said: “We do not want to develop relations with only certain countries, but all of them.
“Turkey does not discriminate between countries. We see potential in every place we visit.”
The number of Turkish missions in Africa has jumped sharply in less than a decade. In 2009 there were only 12 Turkish embassies in African states; now there are 39, according to Foreign Ministry figures.
Yıldız was leading a delegation from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, to find out about the impact of drought and famine in the East Africa region.
Ethiopia has been hit by severe drought over the decades, affecting around 7.8 million people. Last week it appealed for international emergency food aid, saying supplies would run out in July.
Yıldız told Anadolu Agency they could examine problems such as drought, famine and natural disasters in-depth during the visit.
Yıldız also spoke about Turkish relations with the African continent.
“Turkey aims for a win-win policy throughout the continent, not for short-term economic interest…but for long-term solidarity in international relations,” he said.
During a meeting with Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, Yıldız discussed the transfer of Fetullah Terrorist Organization-linked (FETÖ) institutions to Turkey’s Maarif Foundation.
The Maarif Foundation was established after the July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey to take over the administration of overseas FETÖ-linked schools.
“Turkey values Ethiopia’s place in the African Union and they value Turkey’s strategic partnership with Africa,” Yıldız added.
The Turkish minister will visit South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia next.